The courts will be managed on behalf of East Herts Council by Bishop’s Stortford Lawn Tennis Club (BSLTC) whose team will also deliver coaching sessions for beginners and younger people, in addition to walking tennis and tournaments for all ages. As well as being fully fenced, an LTA-funded “pay & play” gate will help ensure the courts are kept secure and in good condition.
Some hourly sessions will be available free of charge on all three of the courts and are bookable on a first come, first served basis. The remainder will be charged for to help cover the cost of maintaining the courts and will be competitive with other providers. These are currently as follows:
• £6.50 per hour for an off-peak booking (Monday - Friday until 4pm and after 4pm on weekends)
• £8 per hour for peak booking
There is also the added option of paying £50 for an individual season ticket, which grants users access to the courts twice a week.
The new tennis courts are part of a series of enhancements underway at Castle Park to improve access and connectivity and to provide new facilities for the community to enjoy.
Councillor Richard Townsend, East Herts Ward Member for Bishop’s Stortford Parsonage and Mayor of the Town Council, said: ‘It’s great to see these top quality courts in use and the range of amenities at Castle Park growing. I’m looking forward to the opening of the community café and garden, new public loos and repurposed old toilet block later this year. Situated so close to the town centre, the new-look Castle Park will be a real asset for the people of Bishop’s Stortford for years to come.’
Natalie Dwyer, manager of BSLTC, said: ‘We are delighted to be working in partnership with East Herts District Council to give Bishop’s Stortford residents access to these new facilities. Our aim is to make tennis accessible to everyone, from beginners to the more experienced, and we will offer coaching to develop all skills.'
The new courts replace the original open tennis courts which were under-utilised and no longer fit for purpose. In their place will be an event lawn which will link the historic Waytemore Castle motte with a new bridge across the River Stort. Landscape improvements around the motte and connecting the event space to the memorial gardens will include swathes of wild flowers, bulbs, new footpaths and seating.
Players can book a court on the ClubSpark Booker App available to download on Google Play or Apple App Store.